WCC Ep.40. Bats, Heatwaves, & Climate

February 14, 2019

In this bat-centric episode, our summer-heatwave continues, as does our climate-change focus. We're joined by Maree Treadwell Kerr (@MareeTreadwellK) from the Australasian Bat Society (@AustralasianBatSociety, ausbats.org.au) to discuss heatwave impacts on fruit-bats, while sipping some Tropical Heat cocktails along with fruity bat-cupcakes. Join us for a detailed look at the heatwaves, heat stress events and mass die-offs, particularly in the Spectacled Flying Fox, before we dive into some batty New Research segments.

New Research:
McMichael et al. 2018 Hematology and Plasma Biochemistry of Wild Spectacled Flying Foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in Australia. J of Wildlife Diseases. Doi: 10.7589/2018-04-096

Giles et al. 2018 Environmental drivers of spatiotemporal foraging intensity in fruit bats and implications for Hendra virus ecology. Scientific Reports 8:9555


WCC Ep.39. RantCast: Climate, Heatwaves, Bats, And Fish

January 31, 2019

Happy 2019! For our first show of the year we're trying something different. In these new RantCast segments, my producer Kristian and I discuss a current topic in wildlife, environment, or conservation. We'd love your comments below, make sure to follow and subscribe to join the discussion in future shows!

In this episode, we discuss the ongoing summer heatwaves we're experiencing this in Australia. Specifically, we cover the impacts and mass die-offs of fruit-bats in around the country. We also discuss the concurrent mass fish deaths in the Menindee Lakes region, the process of eutrophication in Australian rivers, and potential mismanagement of the Murray-Darling River system.


WCC Ep.38. Bees of Australia with James Dorey and Olivia Davies

December 18, 2018

NEW #WCC!! We're back on the couch with James Dorey and Olivia Davies to talk native Australian bees

James is completing his PhD at Flinders University and the South Australian Museum in Adelaide. Despite the workload, he recently released the stunningly beautiful Bees of Australia – A Photographic Exploration through @CSIROPublishing. He's currently travelling the east coast as part of his book tour and to conduct field research. He is joined by partner and fellow bee/Wolbachia researcher Olivia Davies, also a PhD student at Flinders University.

Over some honey-cake and mead-based cocktails, we discuss Australia's diverse native bee fauna, the importance of pollinators, and of-course, the incredible macro-photgraphy in James' new book. Check out JamesDoreyPhotography.com.au, or JamesDoreyPhotography on social media.

Bees of Australia – A Photographic Exploration by James Dorey is now out, a great early/late Christmas present, available from bookstores at or @CSIROPublishing (publish.csiro.au)


WCC Ep.37. Powerful Owls, Ziplines, Tourism Development: Conflict at Mt Coot-Tha

December 10, 2018

We're back on the #WCC couch for a special episode with @Cesar Puechmarin from @blueshroomstudiosand @Jasmine Zelený from @Faunagraphic. We're talking about the new short film “Owls on the Line”, covering Mount Coot-tha's #PowerfulOwls, currently at risk from zip-line development here in Brisbane.   We talk about the potential impacts of this development on owls, eco-tourism ethics, and more.

We also discuss current development plans threatening feeding habitat for Eastern Curlews and more in RAMSAR protected wetlands at Brisbane 's Toondah Harbour. Check out “Owls on the Line” from @blueshroomstudios below, or at blueshroomstudios.com.au youtu.be/9LXD3NPcKw8 For more info got to mountcoot-thazipline.org

For submission regarding the development, go to michaelberkman.com.au/zipline-submission, closing by December 14th 2018 so make your submission soon and contact your local MP!

You can also follow @Faunagraphic at @_Faunagrpahic on Instagram, or go to Faunagraphic.com.au


WCC Ep.36. Brisbane Powerful Owls with Faunagraphic

December 9, 2018

We're back out in the forests of Brisbane searching for the Powerful Owl with Faunagraphic! The Faunagraphic crew, namely Matt Wright, wildlife photographer and owl conservationist, and wildlife scientist Jasmine Zelený, take us on a secretive night-time walk through the woods.

While searching for a known Powerful Owl breeding pair and their chicks, we also find some other fantastic nocturnal creatures. Along the way we discuss Powerful Owl ecology, conservation, and more.

You can find Faunagraphic's Birds of the Night video here youtu.be/Tz2Rtw51FY8

We also recommend checking out the fantastic short film “Owls on the Line” from @blueshroomstudios, about Mount Coot-tha's Powerful Owls, currently at risk from development youtu.be/9LXD3NPcKw8

Follow all the owl-y adventures at Faunagraphic.com.au, @Faunagraphic on Facebook, @_Faunagrpahic on Instagram. You can also join Birdlife.org.au or Ebird.org to get involved in Australian bird-based citizen science. More WCC on the way!

Cheers folks


WCC Ep.35. FrogID Week Field Show with Scott Eipper, Nicholas Wu & Callum McKercher

November 19, 2018

November 9-18 2018 was #FrogIDWeek. Over 40,000 frog-calls have been recorded so far by FrogID and submitted to the team at the Australian Museum, an incredible effort! We headed out #frogging in Main Range on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Specifically, we were searching for the Red and Yellow Mountain Frog, Philora kundagungan. This amazing little frog is endangered and restricted to this isolated, sub-tropical mountain region, so is quite the challenge to locate. In this amazing environment, we were sure to find plenty of other cool creatures along the way.

Luckily, we had herpetologist Scott Eipper from Nature4You leading the way, as well as frog biologists Nicholas Wu & Callum McKercher from the UQ Herpetological Society. Lots of incredible field finds and froggy discussions coming up!

Massive congrats to the team at #FrogID#AustralianMuseum, and everyone who submitted a frog call!! Awesome way to get involved and do some #CitizenScience for our #froggy friends Get the app and join the fun at FrogID.net.au


WCC Ep.34. A Bat’s End: Extinction of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle

October 11, 2018

Prof. John Woinarski from Charles Darwin University returns to WCC and discusses modern extinction and his new book; A Bat's End: The Christmas Island Pipistrelle and Extinction in Australia, now available from @CSIROPublishing – publish.csiro.au/book/7791/

The incredible story of the Pipistrellus murrayi, one of the world's smallest bats which suffered a foreseeable and likely preventable extinction in 2009, is a powerful reminder of our impacts on nature. It is also a detailed exploration of Christmas Island and the heroic efforts by dedicated conservation scientists, land managers, and more, doomed to eventual failure in the face of monumental challenges, both ecological and societal. We discuss the history of P. murrayi, its extinction, possible causes, potential lessons from this tragedy, Christmas Island today, and more.

Check out the book at publish.csiro.au/book/7791/ or @CSIROPublishing on Twitter.


WCC Ep.33. Cooloola BioBlitz

September 11, 2018

WCC is back out on the road for another field show! We're headed up to take part in Cooloola BioBlitz at Rainbow Beach, organised by Cooloola Coast Care Inc. and the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation. The WCC crew heads north to Rainbow Beach along the Cooloola Coast on the second day of Cooloola BioBlitz, an intense period of biological survey to record the living species in an area. We meet with an amazing group of scientists, organisers, students, and community volunteers, all coming together for this amazing biological survey.

We get the chance to explore and discuss some of the amazing native ecosystems and local diversity with a variety of awesome volunteers and scientists:

Jono Hooper & Ben Revell, QLD Frog Society (13:36-20:48)

Ben Revell, QLD Frog Society & Southern Cross University (20:57 – 24:47)

Robyn, Kevin & Zeela, Cooloola BioBlitz Volunteers (26:06 - 49:11)

Kelvin Nielsen, Birding Cooloola (49:35 - 58:24)

Dr. Lindy Orwin, Cooloola Coast Care Inc. & QuestaGame (58:47 - 1:07:36)

Lana, Sandra & Vivian, Cooloola BioBlitz Volunteers (1:08:03 - 1:09:42)

Chris Sanderson, University of Queensland (1:09:53 - 1:17:35)

For more, check out @CooloolaCoastcare on Facebook, or CooloolaCoastcare.org.au. FIDO details can be found at @FraserIslandDefendersOrganisation You can also check out @QuestaGame on Facebook and Twitter, or download the app directly to your phone to get involved in the fun!!


WCC Ep.32. Recovering Australian Threatened Species: A Book of Hope #5 Plant Case Studies

August 24, 2018

WCC is proud to present the fourth installment in our Book of Hope Conservation Case Studies series. We’ll be exploring some phenomenal plant conservation successes from “Recovering Australian Threatened Species: A Book of Hope” with various chapter authors:

1. Vanessa Craigie, DEWLP Victoria, on Conserving Native Grassland Communities (01:56-)

2. Doug Bikerton, SA Dept. of Environment, Water & Nat. Resources, on The Spiny Daisy (23:17-)

3. John Briggs, NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, on The Tumut Grevellia (47:31-)

4. Geoff Robertson, NSW Parks & Wildlife, on Crimson & Sandhill Spider-Orchids (1:09:29-)

Now available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Podbean, YouTube, and more!

Check out the book now at CSIRO Pub at www.publish.csiro.au/book/7705/
More WCC coming soon! Cheers everyone


WCC Ep.31. The Eastern Curlew with Harry Saddler

August 13, 2018

We're at Avid Reader Bookshop talking to Harry Saddler for the launch of his new book “The Eastern Curlew - The Extraordinary Life of a Migratory Bird”

With a background in zoology and a passion for birdlife, his latest book takes a deep and personal look at the incredible life and extraordinary migration of the Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), the world's largest shorebird. Author of books such as Small Moments (2007), & Not Birdwatching: Reflections on Noticing Animals (2015), Harry is the joint winner of the 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival/Blurb ‘Blog-to-Book’ Challenge.

We had an awesome time discussing their ecology, conservation challenges/threats, and the importance of the East-Asian Australasian Flyway for migratory birds. Afterwards, we sat down and recorded the discussion between Harry and Andrew Stafford (32:15-). 

The Eastern Curlew is now available from Affirm Press: